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In Rapporteur Rundown, No Sudan Traction with Ruteere, Belarus on Assange

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 5 -- The ritual reporting of the UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights was another casualty of Super Storm Sandy.

  On Friday, November 2 a slew of reports were read out for rapporteurs who had to leave. Monday there was a so-called interactive dialogue, and then a press briefing, by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mr. Mutuma Ruteere.

It's a long title. Inner City Press asked him about a letter addressed to him and other Rapporteurs in January 2012 about the plight of the Ngok Dinka in Abyei and elsewhere in Sudan.

  Mutuma Ruteere indicated he didn't remember that letter, he gets a lot of them. He said that Sudan had told him he could visit, but he hadn't yet chosen a date. One wonders: why not?

  In South Sudan, too, there are issues, for example between the Murle and Lou Nuer. Then there's the situation of both Sudanese and South Sudanese facing deportation from Israel. What's Mutuma Ruteere doing?

  Since he HAS issued statements about the Roma, called gypsies by some, Inner City Press asked Mutuma Ruteere how European countries are doing, and of the European Union getting the Nobel Peace Prize. He laughed and said he would not address the prize, but that he found European countries very open about the Roma. Open?

 Inner City Press covered other Rapporteurs,for example Heyns (and Emmerson), Ojea, and on IDPs.

  Of some of the other mandates, there are questions. Beyond those above, from another position inside the Third Committee on Monday the last statement on the agenda item was by Belarus, trashing Rapporteur Frank La Rue for not looking into threats against Julian Assange of Wikileaks, and crackdowns on protests in the West.

  La Rue had apparently been chased from town by Sandy. But the ritual will go on. Watch this site.

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